Judge to Tsarnaev Jurors: Don't Go to the Boston Marathon

The 12-member jury still has to determine the fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Photo: FBI

When athletes run the Boston Marathon on April 20, it will be hard to forget the 2013 bombing that killed three people and injured 260 more.

More than a million spectators are expected to line the 26.2-mile course to watch the race – as well as attend several ceremonies remembering the victims of the attack.

But at least 12 people won’t be there: the seven women and five men who served as jurors in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev bombing trial.

Although the jurors found Tsarnaev guilty of 30 felony counts last week, their job is not yet complete. On April 21, they will return to the courthouse to hear more testimony. This time, they will determine whether Tsarnaev will get the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison.

It’s an important task – and one that the court wants to make sure is done correctly.

On Tuesday, Judge George O’Toole Jr. called jurors into the courtroom to give them a warning: They must stay away from this year’s race, as well as any remembrance events.

O’Toole also stressed the importance of the jurors avoiding any media coverage of the event – and implored them to remain impartial.

“I trust that you have been doing this all along,” O’Toole said.

O’Toole also explained what would happen next. For the penalty phase, both the prosecution and defense will call witnesses and experts to the stand. At issue: whether Tsarnaev deserves to be put to death for his crimes.

The penalty phase is expected to last four weeks.

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